Fort de la Crèche

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Fort de la Crèche
289A3771 Fort de la Crèche.jpg
Fort de la Crèche is located in France
Fort de la Crèche
Fort de la Crèche
Coordinates50°44′53″N 1°36′04″E / 50.748°N 1.601°E / 50.748; 1.601
TypeCoastal Battery
Site history

The Fort of the Crèche is a coastal battery of the Séré de Rivières, whose construction was completed in 1879. It is near Wimereux, in the Pas-de-Calais on the tip of Pointe de la Crèche. It is built on the remains of a Napoleonic defense system consisting of Fort Terlincthun, and a sea fort, opposite the tip of the cape, of which only the foundations remain.

The Napoleonic camp of Boulogne[edit]

The Fort de Terlincthun was a simple mound of earth surrounded by a stone wall built by Napoleon I between 1806 and 1808. There is nothing of it left today.

Before the point of la Crèche (Wimereux, Pas-de-Calais), one can see the foundations of the offshore fort, identical to Heurt fort, built in 1803.

Coast Battery[edit]

Former barracks

A Séré de Rivières system fortification was completed on the site in 1879, with three other forts:

They are all built on the same pattern (a barracks, a powder magazine, 2 or 3 shelters, 3-6 platforms for cannon, a well) and are surrounded by a stone wall and a dry moat. Together they protected the port of Boulogne.

Between the world wars, the battery of la Crèche was modernized. The old armament was replaced by four 194mm guns (Mle 1902) each having two ammunition bunkers. The perimeter wall was partially demolished to make room for them.

During World War I the fort defended the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer which played a strategic role in resupply and in evacuation of the wounded.

Gun emplacement overlooking the sea

During the Second World War, the fort was the scene of heavy fighting. The French destroyer Chacal was sunk off Portel while trying to stop the German advance. The German Navy took possession of the premises, concreted three French emplacements and replaced the weapons by 105mm guns. The fort was liberated September 22, 1944, by the Queen's Own Rifles Canadian regiment.

Today, the site is owned by the Conservatoire du littoral, and the Association Fort de La Crèche (AFLC) has restored it.

External links[edit]